Summer vacation, YAY!!! A few years ago spouse and I had to come up with a suitable punishment for one of the offspring. Since said child was too young to ground for two weeks, we made it a matter of earning a certain number of points each day before the fun stuff could happen. Points were simple things, like making beds, doing math, exercise, writing assignments, whatever we could think of to keep the kids off the computer. Now that the kids are older, they take it for granted that they don’t get to spend the day plugged into an electrical device, but they are still in no hurry to play outside in the miserable heat. Instead, they’ve found alternatives–reading, board games, puzzles and (my personal favorite) bickering bickering bickering. I love summer!
I do love me a good hug. Nice squeezy ones that linger. Groping is optional. When looking for medical data to back up this article, I found the Free Hugs Campaign site (www.freehugscampaign.org) and now I’m totally jonesing for a big hug. Apparently hugs increase serotonin levels, which in turn regulate dopamine. Hugs also release oxytocin, a happy bonding hormone which helps (if what I read was correct) lower cortisol (a stress hormone) levels. So I think from now on I will treat hugs as a mandatory supplement, up there in importance with a multivitamin or getting enough fiber in my diet. No more knuckle bumps here. Gimme a hug, damn it.
I had a horrible dream last night. I was trying to clean, and sweet spouse was thwarting my efforts. I kept getting more and more angry and spouse thought it was funny. Needless to say, I woke in an ugly mood. Normally I can shake off rough dreams, but (as is often the case with dreams) this one hit close to home. I think I shall dedicate the rest of this day trying not to sulk. Comfort food may be involved.
Several years ago, someone forwarded some goofy psych test to me which (if memory serves) involved drawing a house in the woods with a path of some sort and maybe an animal in the woods. Honestly it’s been so long I can’t remember. What I do remember is that each thing the test asked you to draw represented something about yourself (maybe the house was you, the woods were the unknown, etc.), and the animal in the woods represented how you felt about the unknown. My animal was a big scary bear.
Whether or not this is pop psychology, the test really made me stop and think about how I deal with problems. I tend to want to avoid them and consequently, whether or not they were scary before, they become the bear in my woods. Since that test, I generally make an effort to deal with my bears, or at the very least categorize them honestly so that I can deal with the really bad crap before it becomes worse. Yes, I put off changing the oil in my car, and no I haven’t scheduled my mammogram yet, but the really important, scary stuff (bills and family squabbles and whatnot) I try to deal with immediately. So take a look in your woods. What animal do you have lurking there?
I swear, if I checked my blog as often as I check Facebook, I’d be super blogger. I feel like a stalker. Seriously, how often do I need to see what my neighbors down the street are doing for dinner? Or if my ex-boyfriends’ kids’ soccer team won last weekend? Nielsen survey says the average user spends up to seven hours per month on Facebook. Seven hours! Crazy! Oh wait, that means me too. But I do try to be smart about my posts. It blows me away when I see that friends of distant friends are going on vacation for two weeks, or when young family members post pictures of the wild parties they’ve attended. The preachy or political ones are rough too. And yet still I check Facebook. Often. Sometimes nine or ten times a day (and I DO have a life). I blame it on muscle memory. My fingers automatically type f-a-c-e after www, and then the log-in page just magically pops up. I’m not ready to give it up though. I have Friends that I would never, EVER see or hear from again if it wasn’t for Facebook. So I’m resigning myself to be a functional Facebookaholic.
So, apparently my blog has been discovered. Mornings when I open it up to post, I’m finding loads of comments pending. Nice people with dubious English skills give me vague “glad I found this post” and “I’ll be sure to pass this one along” comments with return email addresses from pharmaceutical companies, bank loan companies and plastic surgery companies too. The marital aid ones are my favorite. Good to know I’m touching so many lives. Ah, spam. Now I’ll have Monty Python stuck in my head all day.
Today I’m needing a pat on the back. I’m awesome. I know this…sort of. Today though, it would be nice to hear it from someone else, because I’m tired and down and housework is yeoman’s work and I don’t want to do it. But you know what? If I sit around waiting for the world to notice the work I do, I’ll be sitting around a long time and that’s a pity party waiting to happen. So I’m going to put on my big-girl pants, crack my back, and make believe the world bows down before me and worships me as the omniscient superbeing I am.
And then I’ll finish cleaning the kitchen.
I have an insane amount to do today. I totally brought it on myself too, so I really shouldn’t whine. Every now and then, I like a good busy day. Sometimes being super busy is the only validation a homemaker has. When asked “so, what did you do today?” I can give a blow-by-blow of my day and it will actually sound respectable, versus “oh, I did laundry–washed, dried, folded AND put up. Booya!” So yeah, today will be busy and that’s great, but there’s a lot to be said for routine days too.
I am currently roasting a duck. I have a luncheon coming up and I need the duck meat for my fabulous hearty potato leek soup (it really is awesome). So, right now, as I write this, ducky goodness is going on in my kitchen. The duck is in the oven, roasting it’s happy little duck heart out. I have to be honest here, in this house I am usually not the meat preparer. I’m a side dish girl, and I’ll bake with the best of them too. My veggies are second to none. Sweet spouse is the meat cooker in this nuclear family, and he’s damn good at it, so I let him live. What I did not realize until this morning was how territorial he has become about his meat cooking status.
Yesterday, when I mentioned to him that I was going to use a duck he’d purchased for a soup I’m going to prepare, he was OK with it…sort of. He began suggesting ways he would cook it. Not necessary, I said. I will just roast it and strip the meat. No no, he said. It’s better to (insert better ways to prepare a duck here). Mmmhmm. Today, as I began “brining” said duck (as per his instructions), apparently I was not doing it correctly. I won’t go into detail here, but you know what? I can cook a damn bird. What’s more, I only need the meat, so it doesn’t have to be pretty (not that I couldn’t make a pretty duck if I wanted to). So I’m going to roast the hell out of my duck and it will rock.
OK, apparently “Sunshine Days” are not an approved excuse for absences. Granted, in the past I would simply write some vague note–please excuse my child’s absence on this day, there was a family function, whatever–but it turns out that, while this was sort of OK in elementary school, it won’t fly now. This frustrates me because as a parent I believe that I should be able to take my child out of school for whatever reason I deem appropriate, so long as they attend the minimum number of days required and their grades don’t suffer. The state disagrees. Oh well. To whom it may concern, please excuse my child’s absence. He was sick of school, and I was sick of hearing about it. Sincerely, Me.